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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


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09.16.07         photographers  

Shutter Speed 101


While I was chillin at the park today, I thought it would be a good chance to give a quick lesson on shutter speed, what it is and what it can do for you.

Shutter speed is the duration of exposure, or how long the camera is taking the picture for. Most beginners think that a camera will take a picture in the time it takes to make the clicking noise, but the length of that clicking noise can vary dramatically from 1/8000th of a second to 30 seconds. The results are very, very different.

I took a series of pictures of a single water jet’s apex and changed the shutter speed.
The above image was taken at 1/30th of a second
The above image was taken at 1/100th of a second (or at a speed 3 times faster than the first)
The above image was taken at 1/1000th of a second (or 10 times faster than the picture before it)
As you can see, the faster the shutter speed the better job it does at catching the action freeze frame. Some will ask, why not shoot at fast shutter speeds more often? Well, in order to expose the sensor at very fast shutter speeds, you need plenty of light....as in tons. Outdoor sports allow for faster shutter speeds.

Its one of the most common mistakes beginners make when taking sports pictures for the first time. I like to shoot at 1/500th of a second or faster.
This last picture was of the fountain intentionally overexposed. I thought it looked cool.

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